Today I went to the oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley, which features some exquisite woodcarving, and also stone statues that don’t look very spectacular but are over a thousand years old. But the most memorable thing about today was just talking, talking, talking way too much…. over tea with a shopkeeper about religion and politics and hydropower plants and anything and everything, and then waiting for the bus with an Australian guy who was at Everest basecamp recently and told me about summit season and the aftermath of the avalanche that killed more than a dozen Sherpas last month, and then with two crazy European guys who have spent almost ten years working in remote corners of South America and South East Asia with all kinds of NGOs, and have even crossed from Myanmar to India overland on bicycles. And I also helped a very young boy with his English tracing homework and explained his father how to help him, and played hide and seek with several little girls, and and and. Not to mention the crazy bus ride with death metal shaking up the entire village, a wicker basket of 40 pounds of overflowing cabbage struggling with the forces of gravity and momentum, a baby being passed around the passengers, and cheerful locals making everyone taste the local plum crop.
And I feel almost as drained as I usually did after a long day of teaching. I love talking to people, but it consumes all my energy and leaves me shattered. I wish I was more inspired. I wish I could be the person who I actually am. I wish I could be someone else… because I am not me.
And also I am now properly, big-time scared of India because it is completely unpredictable how badly I’m going to freak out.
Changu Narayan temple:
Changu village – that’s the queue for water
If I had some money to throw around, this is what I would buy – Tibetan Buddhist paintings:
The next chapters in the eternal struggle of the goat and the cabbage….
And some more street views:
This concludes Bhaktapur (for now). I’m going back to downtown Kathmandu tomorrow and get ready to move on to Lumbini and India.